Friday, 13 October 2017

A little Greedo dress

A couple of weeks ago I went through my stash, something I do once a year or so. It's a good opportunity to refresh the memory when it comes to which fabrics I have. I also try to get rid of those fabrics that I don't think I will ever use. This year I got rid of the last of my polyester satin stash.

One of the fabrics that I found was a thin navy jersey. Looking at the price tag I must have bought it as a remnant 12 years ago, for the comfortable price of $4. I also realized that I had bigger scraps left from my Greedo fabric than I thought. I decided to combine the two fabrics into a neat everyday dress.

This is where it's good to have a standard pattern that I feel comfortable with. I reused the same pattern that I've three or four times by now. It's la bit complicated when sewn in a woven fabric, with zipper and all, but in stretch fabric I can put the dress together in a couple of hours. When I use the pattern for jersey dresses I also simplify it and don't sew darts below the waist, but just pleat the fabric to the waist seam.

There was almost too Little of the navy fabric, I had to make the skirt a bit shorter than I would feel comfortable, and I could not find a piece of fabric that was big enough for the neck facing. I managed to get a band from the Greedo fabric though so I could lengthen the skirt, and make a neck facing. I didn't want to hide the Greedo print so I turned the facing outweards instead of inwards and sewed it down as a decoration.

The end result is a very comfortable jersey dress that is great for work. And even if nobody has ever said anything about me wearing the full Greedo dress to work, this one is a lot more discrete. Now I can save the big Greedo dress for Conventions and the like, so I don't wear it out, and use this for everyday wear.

I feel like I've really accomplished something when I've both gotten rid of fabric from my stash, and made something that's wearable outside of conventions and other events.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Luna (and Leia update)

Things are happening for Luna Lovegood and TLJ Leia.

For Leia I have ordered fabrics, and also material for her jewellery. I must be honest and say that I don't like the fact that she's now earing rings, bracelets and earrings. To me all the accessories scream more earth than  a galaxy far, far away. Still she wears them, so I need to replicate them. I have also ordered fabric for the coat and the undergown, as well as dye for the undergown.

This is my Luna progress

I've bought a wand and a tie off ebay. Remember to not buy the official HP tie, since it has a large house crest on the bottom, which isn't accurate. The dark fabric is a gorgeous wool that I will turn into the skirt. Yesterday I beaded the necklace out of 2 mm seed beads, I just need to add the butterbeer cork to it.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

A sudden Luna Lovegood costume

Most times a costume project involves a long planning process and careful thinking. My latest costume came up as a sudden idea on Sunday, and now I'm planning to debut it at Avesta Con last weekend in October.

I'm not a Harry Potter fan, but I  enjoy bith 5he films and the books. Still I've never felt like doing a costume from them. On Sunday Artyanna posted a line about doing a Hufflepuff costume and I started thinking...

I am a proud Ravenclaw and three years ago when I visited the Harry Potter studio tour I almost bought the official cardigan. Not because of me being a HP fan but because it looked good and I was on the hunt for a nice grey cardigan. I didn't buy it but spent two years regretting it. Last year my sister and nieces went to the studio tour and they bought the cardigan for me. So I own the right cardigan, I then looked around and found my favorite wool skirt and a white shirt after my father and I realized that I already have most components of a Hogwarts uniform. I also have a blonde wig from my Elsa UFO.

When I put all these things on I realized that I should have done Luna Lovegood years ago, and she's such a great character to cosplay.

So now I have
1 ordered a Ravenclaw tie
2 ordered Luna's wand
3 ordered 2 m dark grey wool fabric for a proper Hogwarts uniform skirt
4 asked my sister to help me make her braded dirigible plum earrings.

I also need to find a pair of flat Mary Janes and learn how to tie a tie properly but I hopw that's not too hard.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Bellossom photos

At Comic-Con I did get some photos taken of my superhero Bellossom, I guess I should call her super-Bellossom or something. All photos are from Tom Larsson, or at least his camera.

The costume consists of one green longsleeved dance leotard. This is a good proof that you get what you pay for. I first bought a really cheap one from ebay, and it had a strange green colour and everything about it was cheap and low quality. I then bought this version from an actual dancewear shop, and it was so good. It's really tight, but holds everything in place while still being comfortable. I actually wore it under my Mon Mothma most of the weekend to make it easy to switch between costumes. Thanks to this leotard this is probably one of my most comfortable costumes.

I did wear a pair of green tights under it all as well, since the skirt turned out a lot shortern than I had planned at first.

The skirt and gloves are made from lycra. The skirt turned out so short because when I made it I happened to get a stain on it at around knee level, so I cut it shorter, but didn't first realise just how much shorter I had cut it. A good thing with lycra is that it doesn't fray so I didn't have to he anything. The gloves as you can see had a tendency to slide down on the arms though.

The cape and belt are also made from lycra. The belt was a really ugly leather belt, pink and embossed with flowers, that I found at an op shop and simply covered with the lycra. I kept the buckle, but it's in the back so you can't see it because of the cape. The cape is just lightly handstitched to the leotard at the front.

The boots are a pair of red gogo-boots, and I think I'm going to make a separate post about them.

I had originally planned to use my hairflowers that I made for the the other Bellossom costume, but they were too big and heavy. These ones are made from transparent worbla, with a small piece of yellow lycra as the centre. They are attached with magnets to a headband that I'm wearing under the wig. The throw-flower is also made from transparent worbla. The shield is a plastic viking shild I found at a toystore and repainted. I couldn't get it quite as smooth and shiny as I wanted, so instead I made sure to give it a lot of battle damage.

Finally the eyemask is made of fosshape and held on by an elastic under the wig.

Me and Tom as the dynamic pokémon duo of Captain Carp and Bellossom-girl.

And finally some of the people from Cosplay Dalarna that were at Comic Con Stockholm.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

ComicCon without a camera

Last weekend it was Stockholm ComicCon. I managed to go there and not take a single photo during the whole con (Fri-Sun). The main reason was simply that none of my costumes had any pockets, and unlike for example NärCon I didn't just walk around with a friend and talk to people. I was mostly just in the Nordic Legions stand, the cosplay parade or posing with Tom from Cosplay Dalarna in our Superhero project.

That project is also a big reason why I haven't posted much lately. It's been the only cosplay that I've worked on, but I've also felt very uncomfortable about it and I really wasn't sure how I felt about actually wearing it. The superhero project is such a good example of the fun ideas you can come up with when you just hang around with the right people. During one of our regular Tuesday meetings we started talking about doing Pokémon costumes, for some reason we came up with the idea of "what if we did a mashup of superheros and pokémons?".  Then it just spiraled from there...

I was already set on doing my Bellossom cosplay, so of course I wanted to do a superhero Bellossom as well. In the end I didn't use any elements from my first costume for this superhero costume though. Dressing up as superhero was a challenge though. I am plussized, and on the BMI charts I probably count as obese, and now I decided to go for a classic 1960's spandex style superhero. It didn't get better when I managed to cut my skirt a bit shorter than planned, so it almost didn't cover my bum. In the end I had a lot of fun though, and it was a really comfy costume. I don't think anyone that saw me without my Magikarp partner understood that I was a pokemon though.

Some photos were taken of the costume, but I haven't gotten them yet. Until then I can show you this photo by Hamza Mazni
And this video from the cosplay walk-on parade, we are on 5 minutes in

The only SW costume I brought with me was Mon Mothma, but I used my other wig for it. I really liked this wig for the style and fit, it really looked naturally, but the colour is a bit too Brown. I would love to have the same style, but the colour of the other Mon Mothma wig.

This is one of the official Nordic Legions photos
I really liked having the Mandalorians fully integrated within the Nordic Legions. On Sunday we also did a small Bounty hunt, when they were searching for me throughout the Convention. It's easier to find a jedi with a lightsabre than a short woman in brown hair, so I almost had to give myself up for them to find me though.

Me and Jenny also got interviewed by the Swedish tabloid Expressen about our costumes and what the Nordic Legions do.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Glove tutorial

For my next project I needed a pair of gloves in the exact same colour as my skirt. Since the skirt is made in lycra I decided that it couldn't be too hard to make my own gloves, and to be honest it was really simple.

One important thing is that this only works if you are using a fourway-stretch, like lycra or spandex. For anything else you need to create a pattern with a piece called a "flechette" and is the extra fabric that goes between the fingers in order to make the glove big enough and also make it possible to move the fingers.

I started with simply tracing my own hand and wrist on paper.

As you can see I made sure to really spread my fingers. I then added seam allowance, and some extra at the bottom, since the arm is more threedimensional than my fingers.

I cut out two pieces and pinned them together. I sewed Everything together with a fairly tight zigzag stitch. It would probably be even better to use an overlock stitch, but I don't have yellow thread for my serger and something is wrong with my regular machine so I can't choose any of the "b"-side seams.

I then tried the glove on, and could see that I had made some of the fingers and the bottom part too big, so I simply adjusted them with new seams inside the old one. Then I turned the glove so I got the right side out.

Tada, a finished, shiny glove.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Come to ArCon Sommar and the Dalarna Cosplay Championships!

This weekend there is ArCon Sommar, which is the first try of having a local convention in Falun. This is a small voluntarily run event, nothing commercial and I don't think any sellers will be there. ArCon is club that works with game culture, and included in that you have all kinds of computer games, e-sport, tabletop games, figure games and cosplay. It is the Cosplay Dalarna meetings on Tuesdays that have made ArCon interested in arranging things for cosplay as well, and when they planned ArCon Sommar there was a wish to have a day for cosplay.

ArCon Sommar takes place August 12-14 (Saturday-Monday) and it's Sunday the 13th that is focused on cosplay.

I'm going to have a talk about "What is Cosplay", host a workshop showing off different materials and techniques that you can use, talk about fandom fashion and finally present the Dalarna Cosplay Championships. All throughout the day I'm hoping that there will be plenty of opportunities to meet up with other cosplayers and network.

If you are in the area I would be happy to meet you too!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

First look at The Last Jedi - Leia

Blogger is usually good with saving stuff, but this post was mysteriously deleted and I've had to rewrite it. Well here goes.

Of course I know myself well enough that I was sure that I was going to try and do something for the premiere of The Last Jedi in Decemeber. Then the Vanity Fair cover with Carrie Fisher as Leia was released in the spring, and I fell totally in love with the costume.

I haven't taken a serious look at the costume, except being scared of how to create the cloak without any visible seams, until now though. By now some other photos of Leia has emerged.

There are some serious differences of the cloak though. I'm going to call the first one the VF (Vanity Fair) version and the other the grey version. The grey version has a collar that is a lot smaller, the fabric also shows an almost striped or checkered texture. My initial guess is that it's a basketweave fabric. To make it even more mysterious there is this photo showing a large collar, like the VF version, but with a seam that's not visible on the VF cover.
Personally I think that there are two versions of the cloak out there. One that was used for the VF cover, and it's quite pssible that the photo above is from the photo shoot since Mark Hamill is standing in the background. I can't be sure that this cloak will even be in the film. The other version has been shown in photos from the set though.

This grey version with its smaller collar is a lot more straight forward. The only tricky part might be the collar, since there are no seams visible it must be cut in one with the front pieces, with possible just a center back seam. I do have a shrug pattern that's cut like that though.

When it comes to what fabric it's made of. My first instinct was actally to make the VF version in neoprene, it would be incorrect but could give that smooth, but still structured, shape. The grey version with its basketweave pattern could not be made from that material though. Just on a whim I searched for black basketweave wool and stumbled upon this fabric.

From b&j fabrics
It is black and has that distinctive pattern. It's not wool though but a silk and viscose gazar. I had never Heard of gazar so I did a bit of googling on the term. It's a very stiff silk that was inventend by Balenciaga in the 1960's to get a fabric that was suite for very structured garments. One of his most famous pieces is this one seam wedding gown in silk gazar.

One seam wedding gown, Balenciaga 1967
Doesn't the drape and sheen of the fabric look similar to the VF cloak? And wouldn't it be likely that both coats are made of similar fabric, gazar, even if one has a pattern to it? I'm pretty convinded that both cloaks are made of silk gazar, but with a price tag of $130/yard I'm not prepared to buy it and make a cloak out of it until there are more detailed photos. And not until there is a concensus on what colour the costume actually has, since we can assume that especially the VF version but probably all photos have had some colour editing done to them. My first version, before the film is out, will have to be made in something else, I'm thinking some kind of thin cotton or wool basketweave fabric that can be interfaced with something Heavy to give it structure.

The gown she's wearing under the cloak seems to be fairly simple.
A soft longsleeved gown with around neck, with a keyhole cut, gathered under the bust and with a belt of the same material. It's also possible that the belt is just govering the gathering and doesn't go all the way round the gown. The fabric looks quite dull but it's not transparent. I'm thinking that some kind of chiffon or similar would be good for it.

Now if she could only turn around so that we can see the back of the hair.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

NärCon round up

So it's time to post my NärCon photos. I had a blast at NärCon, it was much better than the last time I was there. I had the feeling that there were more people in my own age there, not just teenager. It was also great to hang around with Tom from Cosplay Dalarna, so I was never alone. In the end I didn't go to a single panel or workshop, but spent all the time trooping or walking around in the area. These are just a few of the wonderful costumes that I saw.

Elin Cat Jacobsson in her fabulous Lady of the Mine costume

Tom as a Fallout vault dweller

A great Maui from Moana/Vaiana

Carolina (Meline Cosplay) at the J-fashion show

Anna (ArtyAnna) at the same show

Me celebrating second Place in the pokemon Cosplay walk-on contest

A perfect Tinker Bell

Sara (A costuming engineer) in her steampunk outfit

Henrik (Pilerud's cosplay) in the Benny costume he won the cosplay masters with

The Borlänge contingent from Cosplay Dalarna

Even if the e/R ship is not something I agree with, I was happy to see some Les Mis cosplayers

Our Cosplay Dalarna meetup

And finally some of my favorite Bellossom photos from the weekend. I spent most of the evenings in this costume, after I trooped in my jawa and pilot with the Nordic Legions in the afternoon. The fun thing was that since I walked around with Tom, well nobody wanted to take photos of us together. They either wanted a photo of him as a Fallout Raider, or me as Pokemon, but not both of us.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Bellossom outer gown

I've come back from a great time at NärCon, but before I post about that I'm just going to add the final part of my Bellossom cosplay.

I started the outer gown by making a top from the Butterick 6134 pattern. I made some Changes though in that I made it a bit bigger, and shorter. That allowed me to pull the top over my head so I didn't have to worry abut zippers or other fastenings. The top was made from applegreen poly chiffon interlined with a nude poly lining.

The fit wasn't important since it was supposed to be a very loose gown anyway. I can really recommend this pattern, since it has raglan sleeves it so eas to put together. The original calls for it being unlined, but I have preferred to put a lining into it both of the times that I've made the pattern.

After that it was simply a question of pinning the remaining chiffon fabric and sew it on at the bust. I pleated it rather than gathered it since I think pleats looks so much nicer and gives a better drape as well.

My handstitching weren't quite up to scratch though and now when I've unpacked the gown I can see that some of it has come undone, so I will need to fix that before I wear it the next time.

It really is a costume that's hard to pose in, since it looks so much better when it's moving. I loved to just twirl around in it.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Bellossom hairflowers and shoes

The next step that I finished for my Bellossom has been the hairflowers and shoes. The shoes were really simple.

I found a pair of very cheap fabric shoes in cream with embossed flowers on them. I simply spayed them with a layer of yellow paint and then I took a fabric marker and filled in all the flowers on the shoes.

The hairflowers were a bit more complicated though. This was my first try of using a material called fosshape. It's a feltlike thermoplastic material. Meaning that it feels like fabric, but when you heat it up it becomes hard, it also shrinks and I found it a bit hard to predict how much it would shrink. It depended on the heat.

I started with cutting out five petals for each flower.

I sewed the petals together and placed them over a deep plate to give them a bit more shape. I used a heatgun on a low setting to shape the fosshape. 

After a while I turned the flower and the deep plate and went over it so that both sides had hardened. 

The flowers were harder, but still quite flimsy so I added a piece of buckram in the middle to give it a more stable centre part.

I then tried to mold the centre pod of the flower over a light holder with but it didn't work. As you can see the fosshape started to curl upwards on its own, rather than downwards even if I tried to force it down.

For the second attempt I instead made a cylinder of the fosshape and with the help of a plier I could get it to curl up around the light holder.

Here are the basic flowers, I'm really happy with the right one.

I then used spraypaint to paint the flowers, and finally I simply sewed the yellow centres to the base flower. 

After having used fosshape I the best used for it is if you have a frame that you want to have covered, and that will be covered with yet material. The surface of the fosshape, even after having been heated, was still quite fuzzy and felt-like. I did a test flower first where I used an iron to heat it, and then I could get a smoother surface, but I also got markes from the iron. It's very lightweight and there was no problem painting it, but I think it will be very hard to make it into a smooth and clean finish. Like other thermoplastics it sticks to itself when heated, but it doesn't melt into and bond together, and it was not enough to just have the stickyness to keep two pieces of fosshape together. It's possible to sew through the fosshape after it's gotten hard, but use a very thin needle since the holes will be visible. I think the best way of using fosshape is as alighter version of buckram, and instead of using hot water you use a heatgun to shape it. 

Then I needed to fasten the flowers to my head somehow. I wanted something that was adjustable and could be used both with a wig, or with a caul or piece of fabric covering the head. Now for NärCon I'm planning on using a green veil, but I also have a green wig for future use. My solution was to use magnets.

I glued two flat pieces of magnetic metal to the underside of the flower.
Then I sewed 2x3 small neodym magnets into a simple cotton headband.

Me wearing the headband.

The flowers are held in Place by the magnets.

The last thing I did with the flowers was to fill the centre with some scraps of chiffon to hide the red bottom and make it a bit more organic.